One of the greatest parts of this summer is my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box. I look forward every week to the day we pick up our box of fresh vegetables from our local coffee shop. My favorite are the weeks when we’re headed to the cabin and I challenge myself to use the vegetables in new and different ways (since there I have the time to experiment with new recipes). Every week I try to use every last vegetable and herb in our meal plan for the week. Interested in learning about Community Supported Agriculture? Read on…
I’ve been meaning to talk about this for a few years now, but for some reason kept getting distracted with other topics. And this summer, the strangest summer ever, is the perfect summer to talk about food sources and all of the benefits of eating local. Starting with Community Supported Agriculture. (Because let’s be honest. Who is getting to go anywhere?)
So what is Community Supported Agriculture? The simplest definition is that a CSA is a great way to buy local, fresh food directly from a farmer. Traditionally, you pay for a “share” before the growing season starts, giving your farmer some capital to ensure cash flow at the time they need to get the farm planted. You then share in the bounty of the harvest throughout the season. Usually your share is delivered to a convenient predetermined location. Fresh vegetables all summer, hooray!
My CSA is through Featherstone Farms, which is a beautiful organic farm just south of Minneapolis. They raise amazing crops and deliver boxes of produce to one of my favorite coffee shops just two miles from my home! My teenager, who has been dying to get out of the house this summer, goes to pick up the box every week. As another bonus for small business, she also gets a coffee and pastry, which supports the locally owned coffee shop as well.
Besides eating local, supporting a small business, and fresh produce, there are many other benefits of a CSA! Seasonal vegetables means you will eat nutritious seasonal foods-you may even get some heirloom varieties. Some unfamiliar recipes will allow you to try new recipes (kohlrabi anyone?) Less packaging and less greenhouse gases transporting the vegetables from farm to table helps the environment. A lot of CSAs are organic or “naturally grown” which means less (or NO) pesticides are used on the vegetables you are going to eat! Plus you know exactly where your vegetables came from!
Does this sound great to you? Eating local, supporting a small business, fresh organic produce? Want to find a CSA near you? Here are a few resources:
Interested in what’s coming in my box this week? I’m scheduled to get cucumbers, potatoes, sweet corn, green beans, basil, red kale, eggplants, and a head of green cabbage.